Research Links Zika Virus to Hydrops Fetalis, Fetal Demise

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Research Links Zika Virus to Hydrops Fetalis, Fetal Demise
Research Links Zika Virus to Hydrops Fetalis, Fetal Demise

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika virus may be associated with hydrops fetalis and fetal demise, according to a case report published online Feb. 25 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Manoel Sarno, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hospital Geral Roberto Santos in Salvador, Brazil, and colleagues present the case of a 20-year-old pregnant women with an ultrasound examination that showed intrauterine growth retardation of the fetus at the 18th gestational week. She was referred after a large Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.

The researchers note that severe microcephaly, hydranencephaly, intracranial calcifications, and destructive lesions of posterior fossa were identified in ultrasound examinations in the second and third trimesters; in addition, hydrothorax, ascites, and subcutaneous edema were observed. At the 32nd gestational week they performed an induced labor due to fetal demise and delivered a female fetus. Zika virus-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction amplification products were obtained from cerebral cortex, medulla oblongata, and cerebrospinal and amniotic fluid extracts; there were no detectable products from extracts of heart, lung, liver, vitreous body of the eye, or placenta.

"Given the recent spread of the virus, systematic investigation of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths may be warranted to evaluate the risk that Zika virus infection imparts on these outcomes," the authors write.

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